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This is one of my best friends’ babies. In her hands is a custom order from someone who’s friend lost her son to suicide last week. A son who was this age once. A son who was fiercely loved and valued and squeezed tight. A son who will always be their baby. My heart cannot fathom the overwhelming grief. Our only hope? To lift our eyes to the One who is our help in every season and situation. Jesus, come quickly.
It seems the Lord is teaching me a deeper (more experiential) meaning of what Paul talks about when he describes servants of God as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10a). • You see, there is so much good happening. So much joy, provision, and depth of community. So many doors opening. So many opportunities to minister and be ministered to. So much love and humility and grace and kindness and care that it has made me—quite literally—cry into a plate of chicken and waffles from the mercy of it all. • These scattered beams can only be explained by the Lord, who is dropping joy bombs and grace explosions all around. • But it’s not all chicken and waffles. • (Link to blog post in profile ❤️)
“All in all, it was a never-to-be forgotten summer—one of those summers which comes seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going—one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” -L.M. Montgomery
“[It is] as if [David] had said, Separated from God I am nothing, and all that I attempt to do ends in nothing; but when I come to Him, I find an abundant supply of strength. It is highly necessary for us to consider what we are without God; for no man will cast himself wholly upon God, but he who feels himself in a fainting condition, and who despairs of the sufficiency of his own powers. We will seek nothing from God but what we are conscious of wanting in ourselves. ...the reason why God is represented as a portion is, because He alone is abundantly sufficient for us, and because in Him the perfection of our happiness consists.” -John Calvin, on Psalm 73:26

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Twilight vs. Obedience

“Life is hard. If life was easy there would be no people of integrity or character; for it is in the difficult choices that one displays character.”

I had a very difficult choice to make today. Well, really it’s been building up for weeks now but I tried ignoring it. That didn’t work out so well.

This choice involved me, a book (a series of books, really), part of my church family, and my God.

Twilight has become a national phenomenon. It has broken records in book sales and now in movie sales. Groups of young and old, men and women alike have flocked to book stores and now to the theaters to be a part of this vampire love story.

I’ve read the first three books and almost the entire final book. I got so caught up in the amazing story of Edward and Bella; just a girl like me, clumsy and determined, who falls in love with the perfect man (okay, that part’s totally not like me).

I could barely put down this book long enough to sleep. I’d stay up late reading it, and Edward and Bella were on my mind as soon as I woke up—just dying to know what would happen next. And as I read the book more and more the grip the book had on me became stronger and stronger.

I found myself constantly thinking about this amazingly well written book that has captivated audiences of all ages, dreaming about things that had happened and picturing myself making decisions in Bella’s shoes.

Okay, let’s back up just a little.

I wasn’t going to read this book.

People of all ages told me I ‘had’ to read this. They told me how incredible Twilight was. All I could say was, “Are you crazy?! I’m not going to read a book about vampires!”

But I compromised. And compromise is seductive. It lures you in and then it keeps you there. And even after I tell everyone never, ever to compromise—not physically/sexually, emotionally, or spiritually—what do I do? Compromise.

So back to the choice that’s before me:

Well, I tell you I don’t like this fork in my path. And, like with almost everything else in my life- I’m overcomplicating it.

I have the choice to obey God or blatantly disobey Him.

Sounds like a pretty simple decision.

But it’s not. It’s hard. Way harder than it should be.

God sent someone really amazing to confront me about this. Actually, God used several people to confront me about this. But one in particular; this person told me how they too had been ‘addicted’ to vampire books and how God finally told them enough was enough. They told me it was still a struggle for them but encouraged me that there was amazing Christian fiction books out there that would both bring glory to God while stimulating my desire for fiction reading. She also told me that her husband told her to think about how much time she was spent reading those books and how that time could be spent in the Bible.

Well, I really, really took that to heart and God showed me how Twilight and all its following books absolutely consumed me. I would try to justify everything, going as far to say I gleaned some spiritual application throughout the books (which I did, but that really kind of drowned in the big picture).

My relationship with God was in pretty deep waters as well, I wasn’t focused on Him because I was always focused on the books. And while the books were “good” books, they did not glorify God.

And if it’s not glorifying God, what is it doing?

So my choice has come. And I have chosen to give the final book back to the person I borrowed it from, even with the last 100 or so pages unread.

Even now I’m fighting this battle to read the final pages just to know what happened. I’m trying to reason that this is the final book of the series- the author already said she wasn’t writing anymore; I could just read the last pages and be done with it forever.

But where is the self-sacrifice in that? No where. That would be feeding my desire instead of starving it.

I’m trusting God to help me turn the book in tomorrow. To give me the words to speak to these people if they ask what I thought about it, and then to ask why I didn’t finish it.
I’m also asking you all for your prayers. I need your prayers. I need your encouragement. I need your love.
Most of all, I need God’s mercy and grace to help me through.

Proverbs 24:1- “Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them.”

Proverbs 24:21- “My son, fear the Lord and the king, do not associate with those given to change (rebellion).”

Proverbs 23:19- “Hear my son, and be wise; and guide your heart in the way.”

You know, that last verse goes against what is popular in society. Because you hear everywhere “follow your heart. Follow your heart.” But the Bible says we are to GUIDE our hearts. Guide it in wisdom. We must be prudent, obedient, and guide our own hearts in The Way. John 14:6- “Jesus said, ‘I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life…” We have to guide our hearts in Jesus, because our flesh won’t lead us correctly.

Knowledge= an organized body of information.

Wisdom= Knowing what to do with the knowledge you have.

Prudent= Wisdom applied to practice.

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